Dr. Mackenzie’s Ph.D. research was on the light-harvesting antenna complexes of photosynthetic bacteria. This work was jointly supervised by Drs. Richard Cogdell and Kim Kaiser at Glasgow University in the UK. After a short postdoctoral fellowship, which involved isolating genes involved in Drosophila behavior, he moved to the US and returned to working with photosynthetic bacteria. This work was carried out in the lab of Dr. Samuel Kaplan in this department. Their work was among the early genome projects and focused on sequencing Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1 and using bioinformatics to examine novel regulatory pathways in this organism in conjunction with collaborators at the Department of Energy.

His current research focuses on the possible link between Streptococcus gallolyticus and colon cancer. The PI of this project is Dr. Yi Xu at Texas A&M’s Institute of Biosciences and Technology. Dr. Mackenzie carries out the bioinformatics portion of this collaboration.


Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, 2005
The University of Glasgow, UK, 1990

Areas of Interest

Research Interests

My current research interests lie with the possible connection between Streptococcus gallolyticus and colon cancer and how bioinformatic methods may be used to guide experimental approaches in the lab.


A considerable amount of my time is spent teaching, which I really enjoy. I am a facilitator for Problem Base Learning (1st & 2nd year students) and Team Based Learning (1st year students) as well as being on the Team Based Learning review committee. I am also involved in teaching Professionalism and Ethics to medical students and Ethics to students in the Graduate School of Biological Sciences (GSBS).


Original Published Articles in Journals:

Taylor J, Gao X., Xu J., Holder M., Petrosino J., Kumar R., Liu W., Höök M., Mackenzie C., Hillhouse A., Brashear W., Nunez M., and Xu Y. A Type VII Secretion System of Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus contributes to gut colonization and the development of colon tumors. PLoS Pathogens. 17(1): e1009182 (2021).

Kumar R., Herold J.L., Schady D., Davis J., Kopetz S., Martinez-Moczygemba M., Murray B. E., Han F., Li Y., Callaway E., Chapkin R.S., Dashwood W., Dashwood R.H., Berry T., Mackenzie C., and Xu Y. Streptococcus gallolyticus subsp. gallolyticus promotes colorectal tumor development. PLoS Pathogens. 13(7): e1006440. (2017).

Barbu E.M., Mackenzie, C., Foster, T.J., and Höök, M. SdrC induces staphylococcal biofilm formation through a homophilic interaction. Molecular Microbiology. Oct;94(1):172-85. (2014).

Barbu E.M., Vannakambadi, K.G., Shivasankarappa, G., Mackenzie, C., Foster, T.J., Sudhof, T.C. and Hook, M. β-Neurexin is a ligand for the Staphylococcus aureus MSCRAMM SdrC. PLoS Pathogens. 6(1):e1000726. (2010).

Mackenzie, C., Eraso, J. M., Choudhary, M., Roh, J. H., Zeng, X., Bruscella, P., Puskas, A., Kaplan, S. Postgenomic adventures with Rhodobacter sphaeroides Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 61: 283-307. (2007).

Goldman B. S., Nierman W. C., Kaiser D., Slater S. C., Durkin A. S., Eisen J. A., Ronning C. M., Barbazuk W. B., Blanchard M., Field C., Halling C., Hinkle G., Iartchuk O., Kim H. S., Mackenzie C., Madupu R., Miller N., Shvartsbeyn A., Sullivan S. A., Vaudin M., Wiegand R., Kaplan H. B. Evolution of sensory complexity recorded in a myxobacterial genome. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. (2006) 103: 15200-5.

Mao, L., Mackenzie, C., Roh, J.H, Eraso, J.M., Kaplan, S., Resat, H. (2005) Combining microarray and genomic data to predict DNA binding motifs. Microbiology. 151:3197-213. This publication was also reviewed in Nature Reviews, Microbiology, (2005) 3, 830.

Choudhary, M., Fu, Y., Mackenzie, C. and Kaplan, S. (2004) DNA sequence duplication in Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1: Evidence of an ancient partnership between chromosomes I and II. Journal of Bacteriology 187: 2019-2027.

Pappas, C.T., Sram, J., Ivanov, P.S., Moskvin, O.V., Mackenzie, R. C., Choudhary, M., Land, M., Larimer, F. W., Kaplan, S. and Gomelsky, M. (2004) Construction, validation and application of the Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1 DNA microarray for characterizing transcriptome flexibility at diverse growth modes. Journal of Bacteriology 186:4748-58.

Zhou, S., Kvikstad, E., Kile, A., Severin, J., Forrest, D., Runnheim, R., Churas, C., Hickman, J. W., Mackenzie, C., Choudhary, M., Donohue, T., Kaplan, S., Schwartz, D. C.: Whole-genome shotgun optical mapping of Rhodobacter sphaeroides strain 2.4.1 and its use for whole-genome shotgun sequence assembly. (2003) Genome Res. 2003 Sep;13(9):2142-51.

Mackenzie, C. and Kaplan, S. Editorial Introduction to: The Genomics Issue. Photosynthesis Research. 70: 1 (2001).

Mackenzie, C., Choudhary, M., Larimer, F. W., Predki, P.F., Stilwagen, S., Armitage, J. P., Barber, R. D., Donohue, T. J., Hosler, J. P., Newman, Shapleigh, J. E., Sockett, R.E., Zeilstra-Ryalls, J. and Kaplan, S.: The home stretch, a first analysis of the nearly completed genome of Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1. Photosynthesis Research. 70:19-41. (2001)

Mackenzie, C., Simmons, A. E., and Kaplan, S.: Multiple chromosomes in bacteria: the Yin and Yang of trp gene localization in Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1. Genetics 153:525-38. (1999).

Adrian E. Simmons, R. Christopher Mackenzie, Richard J. Cogdell, Cloning and sequencing of the pucBA genes from two strains of Rubrivivax gelatinosus, Photosynthesis Research, 62: 99 – 106. (1999).

Choudhary, M., Mackenzie, C., Mouncey, N. J. and Kaplan, S.: RsGDB, the Rhodobacter sphaeroides genome database. Nucleic Acids Research, 27: 61-62. (1999).

Choudhary, M., Mackenzie, C., Nereng, K. S., Sodergren, E., Weinstock, G. M., and Kaplan, S.: Partial genetic content of Chromosome II of Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1T as determined through a low-resolution sequencing strategy. Microbiology 143: 3085-3099. (1997).

Gardiner, A. T., Mackenzie, C., Barrett, S. J., Kaiser, K. and Cogdell, R. J.: The purple photosynthetic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas acidophila contains multiple PUC peripheral antenna complex (LH2) genes – cloning and initial characterisation of four beta/alpha pairs. Photosynthesis Research 49: (3): 223-235. (1996).

You, Y., Elmore, S., Colton, L., Mackenzie, C., Stoops, J. K., Weinstock, G. M.  and Norris, S. J. Characterization of the cytoplasmic filament protein gene (cfpA) of Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum. Journal of Bacteriology. 178: (11) 3177-3187. (1996).

Fowler, G. J. S., Gardiner, A. T., Mackenzie, R. C., Barratt, S. J., Simmons, A. E., Westerhuis, W. H. J., Cogdell, R. J., and Hunter, C. N.: Heterologous expression of genes encoding bacterial light-harvesting complexes in Rhodobacter sphaeroides The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 270: (40) 23875-23882. (1995).

Mackenzie, C., Chidambaram, M., Sodergren, E. J., Kaplan, S. and Weinstock, G. M.: DNA repair mutants of Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Journal of Bacteriology. 177: (11) 3027-35. (1995).

Choudhary, M., Mackenzie, C., Nereng, K. S., Sodergren, E., Weinstock, G. M. and Kaplan, S.: Multiple chromosomes in bacteria: structure and function of chromosome II of Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1T. Journal of Bacteriology. 176: (24) 7694-702. (1994).

Mackenzie, C., Stewart, B. and Kaiser, K.: A device for creating and replicating ordered arrays of plaques or colonies. Technique-A Journal of Methods in Cell and Molecular Biology. 1: (1) 49-52. (1989).

Wooley, K. J., Cogdell, R. J., Mackenzie, R. C., Lindsay J. G. and Michel H.: Crystallization of the B800-850 complex from Rhodopseudomonas acidophila strain 7750.  Biochemical Society Transactions 14: 57. (1986).


Books and Book Chapters:

Eugene C. Toy; Cynthia R. Skinner Debord; Audrey Wanger; Chris Mackenzie; Anush S. Pillai; James D. Kettering. Case Files: Microbiology 3e McGraw Hill Medical (2015).

Choudhary, M., Mackenzie, C., Donohue, T. J., and S. Kaplan. Purple bacterial genomics. In Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration C. N. Hunter, F. Daldal, T. J. Beatty, and M. Thurnauer. (eds) Springer Verlag Inc. 34:691 – 706 (2009).

Mackenzie C., Eraso J. M., Choudhary M., Roh J. H., Zeng X., Bruscella P., Puskas A., and Kaplan S. Postgenomic Adventures with Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Annu. Rev. Microbiol. 2007 61:283-307 (2007).

Mackenzie, C., Choudhary, M. and Kaplan, S.: Multiple Chromosomes, In: Mechanisms of Genomic Evolution in Bacteria, Day, M. and Miller, R. V., eds., ASM Press, Washington, DC. ASM Press. (2003).

Choudhary, M., Mackenzie, C., Weinstock, G. M. and Kaplan, S.: Genome sequence skimming of Rhodobacter sphaeroides: Chromosome II is a “run of the mill” chromosome. In: The Phototrophic Prokaryotes. Peschek, G. A., Loffelhardt, W. and Scmetterer, G., eds., Plenum Press, New York, USA. pp. 435-441. (1999).

Mackenzie, C., Choudhary, M., Nereng, K. S., Sodergren, E., Chidambaram, M., Weinstock, G. M. and Kaplan, S.: A physical and genetic map of Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1T. In: Bacterial Genomes. Physical Structure and Analysis. Eds. F. J. de Bruijn, Lupski, J. R. and Weinstock, G. M. Published by Chapman and Hall, New York. pp 729-731. (1998).

Mackenzie, C., Chidambaram, M., Choudhary, M., Nereng, K. S., Kaplan, S. and Weinstock, G. M. Sequence skimming of Rhodobacter sphaeroides 2.4.1T. In: Bacterial Genomes. Physical Structure and Analysis. Eds. F. J. de Bruijn, Lupski, J. R. and Weinstock, G. M. Published by Chapman and Hall, New York. pp 541-551. (1998).

Gardiner, A. T., Mackenzie, R. C., Barret, S. J., Kaiser, K. and Cogdell, R. J.: The genes for the peripheral antenna complex apoproteins from Rps. acidophila form a multigene family. Proceedings of the IXth International Congress on Photosynthesis. In Research in Photosynthesis, Volume I (Murata, N., ed.), p77-80., Kluwer, Dordrecht. (1993).

Cogdell, R. J., Hawthornethwaite, A. M., Ferguson, L. A., Evans, M. B., Li, M., Gardiner, A., Mackenzie, R. C., Thornber, J. P., Brunisholz, R. A., Zuber, H., van Grondelle, R. and van Mourik, F.: The structure and function of some unusual variable antenna complexes. In: Molecular Biology of Membrane-Bound complexes in Phototrophic Bacteria (Drews, G. and Dawes, E. A., eds.), pp. 211-217, Plenum, New York. (1990).

Cogdell, R. J., Wooley, K. J., Mackenzie, R. C., Lindsay, J. G., Michel, H., Dobler, J. and Zinth, W.: Crystallisation of the B800-850 antenna complex from R. acidophila strain 7750. In: Springer series in Physical Chemistry. New York.Volume 42, 85-87. (1985).